Posts Tagged ‘rs 2.5 crore’
CROSSOVER CINEMA Bollywood films do business of crores in Pakistan
The Pakistani film industry, crippled by the flood of Hindi film releases, is agitating for new regulations
Bharati Dubey | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; November 1, 2009)
This year, the Pakistani film industry produced only nine films. The reasons for this dwindle are many but most fingers point to one culprit who, they claim, has killed their industry: Bollywood.
In the recent past, almost every film released in India has simultaneously been released in Pakistan and done business of about Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore. Salman Khan starrer Wanted, reported to be a mega hit in Pak metros, has earned about Rs 5 crore till now; Wake Up Sid grossed Rs 1.5 crore; New York made Rs 3 crore while Love Aaj Kal earned Rs 2.5 crore. Most cinema halls in Pakistan are found playing only Indian movies, leading to a paucity of venues for local films: a source from the Pak film industry points out that there are four Pakistani films ready for release but no cinema halls available to screen them.
But while this swamping has angered many members of the Pakistani film and television industry, there are some who feel it is unfair to point a finger at Bollywood alone. Says Jahanzaib Baig, chairman of the Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association, “Local films, which, at 15 to 20 per year, were already in scarce supply, have dropped to around nine. But it’s not only because of Bollywood—the real issue is the lack of infrastructure and skilled workforce in the Pakistani film industry as also the government’s unwillingness to offer a concrete support policy. Unless quality films are produced in the country, you can’t expect the local populace to root for them.’’
Indeed, Baig believes Bollywood has given a boost to the exhibition business in Pakistan. “Indian films have renewed the Pakistani public’s dwindling interest in going to cinema halls, and because of this some new cinemas have been built,’’ he says. “These releases have ensured at least some business for cinema houses which were at the mercy of the local low-quality productions.’’
A source from the Pakistani film industry supports the pragmatism. “When a producer or distributor can buy a Salman or Shah Rukh starrer for about Rs 70 lakh to a crore, why would he want to invest Rs 2 crore in making a Pakistani film which may not have any takers?’’ he says. Adds
producer-distributor Shakeel Akhtar, “Most Bollywood films are bought for between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore and go on to do business of crores, which is good enough for Pakistani distributors who cannot even collect a few lakhs from a Pakistani film.’’
However, fear of complete destruction of the industry has angered some film and television professionals in Pakistan who are now opposing the release of Bollywood films and growing Bollywood content on television channels. “There is a lot of pressure to restrict the number of Bollywood releases in Pakistan, as it affecting the film industry,’’ says Satish Anand who distributed Wake Up Sid and Main Aurr Mrs Khanna in Pakistan. “There will be a new regulation by November, after which not all Bollywood films will get a chance to be released in Pakistan.’’
So Bollywood, which has been getting some additional revenue ranging from a few lakhs to crores, may have to write off the territory very soon. Says trade analyst Amod Mehra, “Pakistan was an additional overseas territory for Bollywood, and though not very big did bring in some money.’’ As for the restrictions, he believes they were bound to happen. “The Pakistani film industry is dying, and Bollywood films had become the last nail in their coffin. This opposition is only to save their industry.’’
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